WILLIAM I “THE CONQUEROR,” KING OF ENGLAND b 1024 and Matilda “Countess of Flanders,” Queen of England b 1031

William I “The Conqueror” King of England  was born on 20 Oct 1024 in Normandie (Région), France. He died on 15 Sep 1087 in Convent of St Gervais, Rouen, Normandie, France. He was buried on 21 Sep 1087 in Caen, Normandie (Région), France. He married Matilda “Countess of Flanders Queen of England. Matilda “Countess of Flanders Queen of England  was born in 1031 in Flandre Province, Belgium. She died on 9 Nov 1083 in Caen, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France. She was buried on 11 Nov 1083 in Caen, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France.

William I the Conqueror of England and Normandy, Duke of Normandy, King of England, was born 9 September 1027 in “Falaise” to Robert II, Duke of Normandy (c1000-1035) and Herleva of Falaise (1003-1050) and died 1086 in “Rouen” of unspecified causes. He married Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083) 1050 . Ancestors are from FranceGermany.

William I, King of England, Duke of Normandy was a mediæval monarch. He ruled as the Duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087 and as King of England from 1066 to 1087. As Duke of Normandy, William was known as William II, and, as King of England, as William I. He is commonly refered to as William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquérant) or William the Bastard (Guillaume le Bâtard).

The name “William the Bastard”, a name used by his enemies arose from the fact that his mother was a Tanner’s daughter who agreed to be his father Robert II’s mistress. She demanded that their relationship not be secret, and had a position in court. After the affair was over, she married a Viscount. William retained the favour of his father and when Robert II left for the Holy Land, he forced his lords to pledge fealty to William. Robert II never returned from the Holy land and the oath was quickly forgotten, and intrigue surrounded the boy Duke. William’s guardian Gilbert of Brionne was murdered, as was his tutor, as was his uncle Osbern- killed while protecting William from kidnappers found in his bedroom. William was sent away from home for his protection, and it was common practice for William’s uncle Walter to awaken him in the night to move him to a new location.

By age fifteen, William was knighted, and by twenty he went to war against his cousin Guy of Normandy to defend his title of Duke of Normandy. With the help of King Henri I of France, he subdued his enemies who were forced to swear allegiance to William.

William asked for the hand of Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders, but Matilda would have none of it. Purportedly, she was in love with the English ambassador to Flanders, a Saxon named Brihtric, who declined her advances. As for William, she told his emissary that she was far too high-born (being descended from King Alfred the Great of England) to consider marrying a bastard. When that was repeated to him, William, all of 5’10″, rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse (some said by her long braids), threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants, and then rode off. Another version states that William rode to Matilda’s father’s house in Lille, threw her to the ground in her room (again, by the braids), and hit her (or violently shook her) before leaving.

William convinced Matilda to relent, but the pope opposed the marriage because they were distant cousins. For a period of time all of Normandy was excommunicated along with their duke because William disregarded the pope’s advice and married Matilda. In return for the construction of two abbeys, the excommunication of Normandy was lifted.

In 1051, William visited his cousin Edward the Confessor, king of England. Edward was childless, and William’s account is that the king made him his heir. According to supporters of William, Edward sent his brother in law Harold Godwinson to see William in 1063. Other accounts say that Harold was shipwrecked. All accounts agree that William refused to let Harold depart until he swore on holy relics that he would uphold William’s claim to the throne of England, and agreed to marry his daughter (then an infant) Agatha. After winning his release, Harold reneged on both promises.

In support of his claim to the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts| in what has become known as the Norman Conquest.

His reign brought Norman culture to England, which had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign also saw changes to English law, a programme of building and fortification, changes in the English language and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.

William is known to have had nine children, though Matilda, a tenth daughter who died a virgin, appears in some sources. Several other unnamed daughters are also mentioned as being betrothed to notable figures of that time. Despite rumours to the contrary (such as claims that William Peverel was a bastard of William) there is no evidence that he had any illegitimate children.

  1. Robert Curthose (1054–1134), Duke of Normandy, married Sybil of Conversano, daughter of Geoffrey of Conversano.
  2. Richard (c. 1055 – c. 1081), Duke of Bernay, killed by a stag in New Forest.
  3. Adeliza (or Alice) (c. 1055 – c. 1065), reportedly betrothed to Harold II of England.
  4. Cecilia (or Cecily) (c. 1056–1126), Abbess of Holy Trinity, Caen.
  5. William “Rufus” (c. 1056–1100), King of England, killed by an arrow in New Forest.
  6. Agatha (c. 1064–1079), betrothed to Alfonso VI of Castile.
  7. Constance (c. 1066–1090), married Alan IV Fergent, Duke of Brittany; poisoned, possibly by her own servants.
  8. Adela (c. 1067–1137), married Stephen, Count of Blois.
  9. Henry “Beauclerc” (1068–1135), King of England, married Edith of Scotland, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland. His second wife was Adeliza of Leuven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_the_Conqueror

http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/royalty/kingw.html

http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/William_I_of_England_(1027-1087)